|Region of origin||British Isles|
Curry is a common surname used in Ireland, Scotland and England. In England and Scotland it is thought to derive from local place names, curie (an Old French word from kitchen worker) and in Scotland also possibly from MacVurich.
Forms of the name
In some cases the surname is an Anglicised form of the Irish Ó Comhraidhe - the "h" aspirates the preceding consonant, so the Anglicised form is not far from the pronunciation in Irish. It sometimes takes the form Corry or Corra, especially in the northern counties, where in the few early records in which the name is found the prefix ‘Mac’ is usually substituted for ‘O’. Corry, however, may also have other origins which will be mentioned later.
In Scotland the surname was originally Gaelic MacMhuirich however with the Highland clearances, many Gaelic names were Anglicised so the surname's took the form of something that sounded similar. MacMhuirich took variations such as MacVurich, Currie, Curry and Currey.
The most numerous and well-known sept of Ó Comhraidhe is that of Thomond with their centre in County Clare. There was a little-known sept of O'Curry in the barony of Kerricurrehy in Cork, where the name is now often found as Corry. This Cork sept may have been a branch of the main Thomond sept. They are recorded as a sept of Corca Laoighe and the name is found also in Kerry, presumably as a result of migration. In addition to the main sept of Ó Comhraidhe another of the same name was located in County Westmeath, where they were Chiefs of Moygoish. Curristown], to which they gave their name, (now known as Belmont) is testimony to their power and significance in that area.
In Ulster, many of the name Curry are of Scottish ancestry. There is a rule of thumb that says Currie is Scottish while Curry is Irish in origin, but the spellings have be so interchanged that the rule counts for little. In Scotland Currie can be a variant of Corrie. It can also be an Anglicised form of the Gaelic MacMhuirich, 'son of Murdoch'. One family of this surname, Clann MacMhuirich, was produced hereditary bards to chiefs of Clan Donald and Clan MacDonald of Clanranald, and claim descent from the thirteenth-century Irish poet Muireach Alhanach.
In mid-nineteenth-century Antrim the main concentration of the name was found to he to the north of Ballymoney in the barony of Carey. In a final twist to the history of the name in Scotland, many Curries of Arran, Kintyre and the Isles were originally MacCurdys
The name Corry is usually Ó Corraidh (or Ó Corra) and in modern times is often abbreviated to Corr. However, when found in Clare, it is probably a variant form of Ó Comhraidhe - O'Curry and as we have seen already, Corry is a known variant of Curry in Cork.
In Ulster, the names Corr, Corry and Curry are numerous. There they can be of more than one origin. The majority no doubt are Ó Corra, descended from the sept of that name located in the Tyrone-Fermanagh country and numerous in central Ulster in the seventeenth century as the Hearth Money Rolls show.
Many of the Corrs of Tyrone and Londonderry are, however, descended from the Gilla Corr, mentioned in the Annals of Ulster (1186), whose son is perpetuated in the townland of Ballykilcurr, near Maghera. One of the Anglicised forms of Mac Gothraidh - a branch of the MacGuires of Fermanagh, and most usually found as McCaffrey - is MacCorry, often without the prefix Mac; others are MacCorry and Godfrey. Mac Corra, too, has been noted in Ulster but this is possibly a modem form of Mac Gothraidh. Both O'Cor and MacCor occur in the Armagh Hearth Money Rolls, O'Cor being the more numerous there.
The prevalence of the name Corry in Counties Waterford and south Tipperary in the seventeenth century might suggest that some of the O'Currys of Thomond migrated but this theory is not borne out by numerous mediaeval records which show that people called Cor and Corre were established in Counties Tipperary and Kilkenny as early as 1270 (Richard Corre was Bishop of Lismore from 1279 to 1308): this may well be an unidentified Norman name unrelated to Curry, for migration from Thomond to Ormond was unusual, though not unknown, before the fourteenth century. However in the mid 17th century at the time of Oliver Cromwell's campaign in Ireland, one of the major landowners in south Tipperary (Clonmel) was a John Corr of Toberhanny. He is said to be descended from a Norman family Corre, that came to Ireland in 1171 at Crooke, Co. Waterford with King Henry II of England, alongside Theobald FitzWalter, later to become Butler, Earl of Ormonde. In 1650 John Corr and 141 retainers were given the option 'To Hell or to Connaught', In other words, either be transplanted to Connaught or face death and eternity in hell. It is said that John Corr was a close ally of the Butler's of Ormonde. When he was dispossessed of his lands he sought refuge with the Ormondes. When Ormonde regained control of his lands he rewarded John Corr with grants of land for his allegiance. Instead of lands at Toberhanny, he was given land at Cuffesgrange, Co. Kilkenny. (previously known as Comerford's Grange). The family remain here to this day. This family is the same family of Frank J. Corr who became mayor of Chicago.
African-Americans and some Black people in the Caribbean also have the name Curry. This is for various reasons one of which is personal relationships between Irish sailors/Captains, and Native/African women in America and/or the Caribbean. To date, the two ethnic groups (Irish Currys and African American/Caribbean Currys) have not unified nor has there been much intellectual discussion about the matter.
People with surname Curry
- Aaron Curry (American football)
- Aaron Curry (politician)
- Adam Curry is a podcaster and video jockey.
- Adrianne Curry is a model and Reality TV star.
- Andrew Currey, Australian javelin thrower who competed in two consecutive Summer Olympics (1996 and 2000), and won a total number of nine Australian titles in the event.
- Ann Curry is a news anchor on NBC's Today Show and the host of Dateline NBC.
- Bill Curry is a former NFL football player and NCAA football coach.
- Bruce Curry is a former professional boxer who was world Jr. Welterweight champion from 1983 to 1984.
- Chris Curry was a co-founder of Acorn Computers.
- Dan Curry is a set designer and visual effects producer.
- Dave Currey is an environmentalist, photographer & writer.
- David Curry is a Conservative British Member of Parliament.
- Dayna Curry is an American who was held prisoner in Afghanistan by the Taliban.
- Declan Curry is a Northern Irish journalist and presenter working for the BBC.
- Dell Curry is a retired American professional basketball player.
- Denise Curry is a retired American professional basketball player and coach.
- Derek Curry is a former football linebacker.
- Don 'D.C.' Curry is an American actor and stand up comedian.
- Donald Curry is a retired American boxer.
- Eddy Curry is an American basketball player, playing for New York Knicks.
- Edwina Currie is a former British Member of Parliament.
- Eugene O'Curry (1794-1862) was an Irish scholar and translator from County Clare, who had an important influence on the revival of the Irish language during his lifetime. It is in Counties Clare and Westmeath that the majority of descendants can still be found.
- Floyd Curry was a former Montreal Canadiens ice hockey player.
- George Curry was an American politician and former governor.
- George Curry was a robber in the Wild West.
- Haskell Curry was an American mathematician and logician.
- Izola Curry was an American who tried to assassinate Martin Luther King Jr.
- Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry was a lawyer, soldier, U.S. Congressman, college professor and administrator, diplomat, and officer in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War.
- Jack Curry is an American sports-writer for The New York Times.
- Jane Louise Curry is an American writer.
- Jesse Curry was chief of the Dallas police at the time John F. Kennedy was assassinated while travelling through a motorcade in down town Dallas, and his assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was gunned down by Jack Ruby while Oswald was in police custody.
- Dr. John Curry (1710–1780) of Dublin was notable as an eminent physician, as a historian and as the organizer of the first Catholic Committee during the Penal Code period. He was descended from the O'Corra family of Cavan, who lost their estates in 1641-1691. Two of his sons were officers in the Austrian service.
- John Curry was a champion figure skater from Great Britain.
- John Curry is an American ice hockey goal tender.
- John Steuart Curry was an American painter.
- Joseph T. Curry was a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1930 to 1944.
- Lisa Curry is an American stand up comedian.
- Lisa Curry-Kenny is a former Australian swimmer and media personality.
- Manfred Curry was a German-American who worked on improving the design of sailboats.
- Mark Curry is an American actor and comedian.
- Mark Curry is an English television presenter.
- Mark Curry is an American rock musician.
- Mickey Curry is an American drummer.
- Norman Curry (born 1946), Namibian cricketer
- Paul Curry was the vice-president of the Blue Cross Insurance Company of New York, and a famous amateur magician who became well known in the magic community for inventing highly-original card magic.
- Ronald Curry is an American football wide receiver for the Oakland Raiders of the NFL.
- Sedrick Curry, American football player
- Shaun Curry is a British actor.
- Stephen Curry (basketball) is an American basketball player
- Stephen Curry (comedian) is an Australian comedian and actor
- Susie Curry is a retired American professional fitness competitor.
- Tim Curry is a British actor.
- Tom Curry was a British trainer for the Manchester United F.C.
- Tyler Curry is an American HIV activist
- Victoria Curry was a medieval pioneer in the science of midwifery in the British north west.
- Wayne K. Curry was elected county executive for Prince George's County, Maryland in November 1994, and served two terms as county executive from 1994 to 2002.
- Wes Curry (1860–1933) was an American baseball player and umpire.
- William Matthew Currey VC (1895–1948) was an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
- Arthur Curry, secret identity of DC Comic character Aquaman
- Mr. Curry, recurring character in the Paddington Bear series
- Jedidiah 'Kid' Curry, of Alias Smith and Jones says in the episode "The Reformation of Harry Briscoe" that his grandfather of that name is from Londonderry.
- Seary, E.R.; W. Kirwin (1998). Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland. McGill-Queen's University Press. p. 128. ISBN 978-0773517820.